It was spring in Tucson and I had a job driving a city bus. I lived in a small one-bedroom ground level apartment whose only entrance was a front-facing sliding glass door. Coco, my muscular and agile, coyote savvy, rabbit-hunting Maine Coon cat that I rescued from the desert a couple years earlier, went about her limited daily activities in her predictable fashion. Like most cats, she slept inside during the day, with periodic outside jaunts for bathroom breaks, and slinked through the shadows of neighborhood yards each night, looking to terrify unsuspecting rodents and lizards. She rarely varied from this demanding schedule. At her request, I left the sliding glass door permanently open. Day and night she came and went as she pleased.
Despite outside temperatures having already begun reaching a searing point by late afternoon, my apartment remained cool inside. Anytime Coco was not inside when I came home, she would show up within 10 minutes of my arrival. This was her predictable pattern. Her appearance was what I looked forward to on my drive home—to be welcomed by my beloved pal. On this particular day, I had come home for lunch and found that Coco was not in her usual place—curled up in the bathroom sink—and was nowhere inside the apartment. I waited for a half an hour, but no Coco. I napped for a couple of hours before leaving to return to the bus depot to begin my next shift. Coco was still nowhere to be seen.
I was now alert that something just might be up. Her no-show was a very unusual occurrence. I put my anxiety on hold. Surely she’d be here when I got home tonight, I told myself.
I came home after dark. After an hour waiting for her, and she still hadn’t come. Something was definitely off. I sat for several hours in silence wondering what direction to go with my thoughts and emotions, feeling the temptation to cry. I wandered the neighborhood calling her name. In the past, whenever I called her, she always meowed to let me know she’d heard me and was on her way. So smart and responsive, my little precious.
But this time there was no meow. She didn’t come. My imploring tone produced no kitty out of the lonely darkness. I heard only the buzzing street lights. Her graceful appearance did not emerge from the still shadows. My imagination was racing. I returned home.
The next afternoon during my 4 hour break between shifts, I saw my next door neighbor gardening and asked her if she had seen Coco. She’d seen her last 2 days ago, she reported, not today or the day before. She said she’d keep an eye out for her. I saw another neighbor’s kids playing in the complex’s interior courtyard. I had seen them out of the corner of my eye on days before, never paying direct attention to them until now. One of them was a boy, maybe 12 years old. Big boned and overweight. Something felt off inside of me as I looked at him. Not an unusual experience for me, judging others negatively. Just my usual less-than-gorgeous mindset, I shrugged, and turned my attention away. Time to leave for my next shift.
When I returned home that night, the place was empty as before. The sadness welled up now into despair. Now I knew. But knew what exactly? I asked for an answer. Where is my beloved companion? Inside my gut and chest, within the radiating pain was a sense, an assuredness, that she was not dead. Exploring this sensation more attentively I was able to discern a delicate but certain feeling of knowing that Coco was only compromised, trapped somewhere. Maybe a kid had let her inside his house and forgot about her. I imagined her hiding under a bed, shut in a room or maybe in a closet. How would I ever find her?
I turned in very late that night and tried to get some rest. I lay there pleading repeatedly for an answer. Coco, where are you?…. please Coco…… please tell me….I miss you so much, my little darling! After much fitfulness I fell asleep.
And I had a dream.
My arm is extended toward a door knob. I look down at my extended arm. But wait, this isn’t my arm! This arm I’m peering down looks like a large boy’s arm. The arm is fat and the fingers clumsy looking. It’s that of a pubescent boy, though I don’t know how I know this so certainly. The hand on this knob isn’t mine either. I turn the knob using this unfamiliar appendage and open the door. It’s me intending the motion, but it’s not my body that’s doing it. It’s someone else’s. I open the door about 10 inches. I hear a meow and look down just inside the door. It’s Coco! I look up at the door. The color is hot pink.
I awoke from this dream immediately knowing where my beloved friend was trapped. I jumped up, put on some shorts and sandals and went outside. As I rounded the back of the sand-colored apartment building and began walking into the shared covered carport, there stood the line of doors of the complex’s storage units. The building had been newly painted a color different from the previous one. The doors had not yet been repainted and remained hot pink.
I walked a straight line slowly past all the doors, calling Coco’s name. Next to one door I heard a meow.
I opened the door and there she was! She looked up at me with bewildered eyes and gave me a long insistent meow that said, “Finally! I was terrified!” I picked her up and gave her a big hug. She clung to my shoulder as I walked back home. I never knew for certain who shut her in. My suspicion is that it was that boy. Coco and I moved out of that complex 2 months later.
There are a lot of questions I ask myself about this whole event, such as, how can I distinguish between mere wishful thinking and real intuitive knowledge about something? Were we sending signals to each other? Was the psychic phenomenon one of a sort of dialog between Coco and me? What does it mean that I was perceiving through the perpetrator’s eyes?
I’m interested in learning and understand more about such realms of occurrences by hearing other people’s knowledge and similar stories. Please email me at email@example.com if you’d like to share.